Hard time obtaining a Solidworks Trial Demo CD

Hi Everyone,
I have always used AutoCAD mechanical but I am currently evaluating 3D
design Software. I have narrowed my choices down to Solidworks,
Autodesk Inventor, or Solid Edge. I have heard good things about
Solidworks, but I'm having a hard time obtaining a demo CD from my
local reseller.
The Autodesk and Solid edge reseller's sent out demo CD's right away
and Autodesk even sent a very helpful book. When I contacted
Solidworks, they referred me to a local reseller. I called the reseller
and they wanted me to come to a meeting in order to check out a demo.
Some time passed & I contacted the reseller again explaining that I am
far to busy to attend any type of meeting. The Solidworks reseller said
that they could send a personal edition trial that expires in 90 days
or a professional version that expires in 15 days. Since the personal
version did not have rendering, animation, or data translation, I told
them I needed the Professional 15 day trial. Actually, I had heard
Solidworks had great rendering and animation and those were two of the
most important features I wanted to check out. I mainly do mechanical
drawings, parts & assemblies, but I also need something that is good
for presentation.
After I told the reseller that I wanted to try the Professional version
15 day trial, they said I had to send them a signed purchase order for
the program. I felt that this request was very premature, since I am
only evaluating the software at this stage. The Solidworks reseller
said they would tear up the purchase order if the program did not fit
my needs, but I do not feel comfortable sending them a signed purchase
order for the program at this stage. I did tell them I would pay for
the CD and shipping, but I have not heard back from them.
It seems Solidworks is making it very hard to obtain a demo, which is
strange because if they want to make a sale, you would think they would
have no problem sending out a demo. I would like to try the Solidworks
demo and compare it to the Inventor and Solid Edge demo's, but I am not
comfortable sending Solidworks a signed purchase order for the program
just to get a 15 day demo to test.
Has anyone else run into this type of problem before ? I would
appreciate any advice or recommendations for another reseller. You can
reach me via this forum or at the yahoo email given in this forum.
Thanks for your help.
Reply to
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I have run into this occasionally. My approach is to tell the vendors "I'm evaluating your software. If you choose not to provide an eveluation copy you will make my job much easier" - it has generally gotten me the evaluation copies I needed - of course I was talking about larger quantities than you are, but it ought to work. You may want to send your posting to the solidworks corporate customer support email address and tell them that without an evaluation copy you will just buy autocadd and not bother with their software, and suggest that you will be purchasing inthe next two weeks.
Reply to
William Noble
15 days is tough to do an evaluation. I'm shocked at how rude you were treated. Look at Pro-E also. Write Solidworks and bitch.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
You probably want to give the systems a try yourself, but my $0.02: Inventor is very useful for complex assemblies, three dimensional surfacing, direct to CAM work, and presentation. When we have design review sessions, I often forgo the obligatory screenshots/renders or movies and then powerpoint, instead simply rotating the models, demonstrating functionality. This also allows me to demonstrate on the fly in response to specific questions. I have often pulled up details of a particular mechanism to clarify a point. However, when we need to impress sponsors or prepare for publications, we have very high quality renders available. I think that no matter what system you choose you will find that the 3-d capability is very useful. To see some sample Inventor renders, check out
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this gives you some ideas as to the software's capabilities. ww88
John2005 wrote:
Reply to
Reseller with a bad attitude. I was treated very differently by the solidworks rep in Minneapolis. Suggest you communicate directly with Solidworks. I can't afford to buy it unless/until I trip on a gig that would pay for it, but I sure was impressed with the demo.
Reply to
Don Foreman
It sounds like the support you'd get from that supplier would be less than ideal. They work for you, not the other way around. Contact Solid Works and see if there is another dealer in your area (probably not). After initial training, most support can be handled over the phone. I would use somebody from another town before those guys saw a penny of my money.
Reply to
Dave Lyon
Hi everyone,
Thanks for all your replies.
I still have to contact Solidworks to tell them of my experience. I am located about 25 miles from Cincinnati. I was afraid that if I contacted another reseller or "VAR" that they would say I had to purchase from the one in my territory.
Perhaps they are treating me this way because I am a small operation. When I originally contacted Solidworks, I told them I only wanted one License or seat, and when the Solidworks inside sales rep for the great lakes and Ohio valley region replied, he said that before he could send a trial CD, he needed to know what CAD system I currently used, the principle nature of my design work, & when I intend to make a purchase. It almost seemed like he wanted me to impress them, instead of trying to impress me as a potential customer.
I gave the inside sales rep the information he wanted, and he then said that the VAR was very unlikely to give me an evaluation license at this time, but that there was something called a Personal Edition that I might be able to get by attending a VAR sponsored seminar.
I then contacted the VAR and was told that in order to get the 15 day trial of the professional version, I would need to send a signed purchase order.
Even though I just want one seat, a sale is a sale & I don't understand why they are not interested in selling. I have money budgeted for the purchase & I know about how much each of the packages cost.
I did tell them initially that it would be a few months before I could make a decision because I am busy and because it's a big decision I want to consider carefully. Perhaps they don't want to fool with me since I am small and since my need to purchase is not immediate.
I have heard good things about Solidworks as a program, but so far my experience with the actual company and it's reps has been discouraging. On the other hand, It may be possible that if I am able talk to some different people at Solidworks my experience would be more positive.
In any event, the experience has left a bad taste in my mouth and I don't think I will expend much more time or energy pursuing the matter further.
Thanks again for your feedback, John
Reply to
John, many people will look for demo licenses of the software for 'evaluation' purposes and then turn around and do a few weeks/months of contract work with it. Depending on the limitations of their evaluation license they may have been burned by it repeatedly.
Just like the car dealer that won't take everyone out for a test drive in the showcase convertible, these guys have had their time/money wasted. It's no excuse for the treatment they've given you, but it might help you in your future evaluation and selection. It could help if you can limit your testing to just a couple of weeks, or explain the extents of testing you intend to complete.
Reply to
David Geesaman
It sounds like you haven't actually spoken with your dealer, only conversed through e-mail.
I would recommend phoning the dealer and discussing the issue. E-mail is clunky when it comes to getting a "feeling" for a customer/supplier, and it sounds like both of you are trying to understand what the other's motives are. Chances are you'll have a much better appreciation for the person you'll be dealing with for the next couple of years, and you can also explain your specific needs and intent.
Just my $0.02 worth.
Reply to
Robin S.
Hi everyone,
Thanks for the additional feedback.
I understand what you are saying David, but my intention is to just evaluate the software, I certainly don't want to to do actual work with the demo, and since the trial only lasts for 15 days, it would not really be possible to become proficient with the software and try to do a job with it before the trial expires. I would not do that anyway.
Robin, I did call them initially on the phone and they kept pushing for me to attend a meeting, even though I tried to explain that I did not feel I would have time. The rep said I would receive an email advising me of the date of the meeting but I never received the email or the demo. That's when I contacted them again via email but the communication has been both via email and phone. I do agree with you that a phone call is better than an email as far as getting a feel for people and an in person visit is even better, but the bottom line is I am a potential customer with money to spend so why am I not being treated with a little respect regardless of the method of communication ? I have also been very detailed in answering their questions, regardless of whether the method of communication was phone or email. I have always felt like I should prove my worth to my potential customers, not the other way around.
It doesn't really matter at this point, Solidworks is not the only kid on the block, I'm sure that either Inventor Or Solid Edge will do what I need, & those guys just sent demo's to me with no hassles.
I was just curious if anyone else experienced anything like this because I was surprised to be treated this way simply because I had an interest in someones product. I always treat any inquiries seriously and with respect, regardless of the size of the company or entity. Solidworks could not have gotten where they are by treating people bad, so perhaps my experience is just a fluke. I may or may not try to give them another chance, I'm undecided.
Thanks again for the feedback guys. John
Reply to
My experience with the Solidworks rep in my area (Sacramento, CA) is far better. I didn't ask for a trial version, but I was able to attend a half day seminar where we stepped through some basic work. I've been a Cadkey user since version 4.0 and I felt Solidworks is about as far above Cadkey as Cadkey was above my old drafting board. The reps are polite, considerate, when I buy, will mention my shop to all their manufacturing companies as being another machine shop running Solidworks (a soft sell for sure, but still, free advertising!)
For what it's worth, nearest rep is about 50 miles away, but I had a reseller from the SF Bay Area (about 180 miles) pestering me for a year or so. I don't know how Solidworks treats territories, but maybe you -can- deal with someone else....
Reply to
Jon Anderson
Your experience is not unique. I had a bad experience with a large Autodesk VAR when I switched from acad to Inventor/Mechanical Desktop and went with a smaller more responsive dealer. For years the ProE sales force had a reputation for arrogance, but I imagine the success of Solidworks, Solid Edge, and Inventor has taken them down a couple pegs. Maybe Solidwork's success has given the VAR you've been talking to a dose of that arrogance; I'd certainly look for another dealer before going back to them.
In this area Solid Edge is very strong largely due to a very well liked dealer, and there are relatively few Solidworks users.
I'd include Alibre among your candidates. I've never used it personally, but have heard good things from folks whose opinions I trust. There's even a free version.
Ned Simmons
Reply to
Ned Simmons
It sounds like someone has decided ahead of time that you are unlikely to buy and not worth much effort on their part. Regardless of the actual reason it doesn't seem to bode well for after-sale support.
Reply to
Mike Henry
I'm mostly a hobbyist that has been using Alibre for several years now and have been very happy with it. Here's an example of Jerry Howell's V-twin model IC engine that I modeled in Alibre:
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to give some idea of its capabilities.
Reply to
Mike Henry
The people at Alibre are tenacious! I wanted a trial and a salesman called a few times to see if I had questions and even after he knew I wasn't going to buy, we had wonderful conversations. I was impressed!
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Hi everyone,
Mike, that was a nice rendering you did with Alibre, I am going to check into that program as well.
If Alibre can also animate a mechanism, & allow me to produce dimensioned prints from the 3D models fairly easily, it may work well for me. I'm looking for something that can help me make better presentation materials, something that can produce a decent rendering without spending a tremendous amount of time on it. I also want something that can produce animations of the mechanism, both exploding and imploding, and also the actual operation of the mechanism itself.
Basically, I need to be able to explain mechanisms to a non-technical people such as CEO's or sales people, as efficiently & professionally as possible. I need to get the main points across as quickly as possible and I think Rendered images and animations are the way to go. Of course I still need to be able to provide traditional assembly and detail drawings to the MFG departments, but I also need to produce materials that are geared more towards sales and explaining the product to the end user.
Thanks John
Tom Gardner (nospam) wrote:
Reply to
I just talked to them today, and ended up buying the Pro version. That's $1500. Training CD's and online classes for a month are $600. BUT, they have a special for first time callers, if you sign up right away. For $114 or so on the first payment, I get the Pro CD's, the training CD's, the classes for 30 days. At the end of that time, if I don't want it, I can return materials and get my money back (though for what they offered here, I would have been willing to not get the deposit back). If I want to keep it, my CC is billed $100/month for 11 months, netting a $300 discount on the program and the training CD's and classes are free. This Pro package includes a one year license for VisualMill 3.0 and at present, a 25 discount to upgrade to a full permanent license of 5.0 basic.
I've been a loyal Cadkey user for many years. After seeing a seat of Keycreator (the CK successor) on ebay, I inquired about a license transfer. I assumed this might be OK since Cadkey was fine with a license transfer of CK99 that I bought on ebay. Well, I was treated like -I- was the one trying to rip off Keycreator. They will NEVER get my business now... I'm getting into a lot of product design and needed to upgrade to something. Alibre really seems to offer a whole lot of bang for the buck, and the sales guy was very easy going. Even admitting that Solidworks has a LOT going for it, but, we both agree not everyone needs all those features. If my design venture pans out, Solidworks will be an easy purchase in a year or two, if I feel I need to.
Do give Alibre a look....
Reply to
Jon Anderson
Hi John!
Solidworks dealers are independent businessmen who are at liberty to conduct themselves as they see fit. In this regard, they are no different than your Chevy or Ford dealers. Some are good, Some are great. Some are terrible. I've worked for all three as an applications or sales engineer and although I have long since left that business, I have continued to be a Solidworks power user since since it's inception in 1995.
AutoDesk and SolidEdge are more likely to try to "be nice" to prospects simply because they are the underdogs and have been playing catch up with 3D solids modeling ever since SolidWorks created a PC Windows based market in the mid 90's 's. It's been really successful and, some of the dealers that represent SolidWorks have become arrogant. Fortunately, they are in the minority.
SolidEdge was actually years into developing a 3D modeler, long before SolidWorks even started its company. SolidEdge's development team was slow to develop the software and very slow out of the gate. They have been playing "me too!" and trying too catch up with Solidworks ever since.
Autodesk has not done much better. Although the recognized leader of the 2D drafting world, they got caught napping when 3D arrived. Worse yet, they tried to alter it's 2D package to do 3D and the result was a disaster. What few seats of 3D they have are more likely to be conversions of existing seats of the dinosaur AutoCAD, then new sales. Both Solidworks and SolidEdge are outselling Autodesk simply on the strength of their utility and ease of use.
If you are not happy with the dealer, find another or, failing that, log onto the SolidWorks web site. They have provisions for getting you a demo direct for the simple fact that not all potential users are within easy travel distance of a dealer.
I'd offer an opinion of the 3D solids software market but after all these years, it's difficult for me to be objective about a program and an activity I have so much passion for.
What you can do in the meantime is to download a free copy of Alibre Express. It's exceptionally good, does not time out, has both input and output protocols in a variety of neutral file formats and although they charge for their Pro version, the design power per dollar for Express is remarkable.
Unfortunately for you, as nice as Alibre is, it does not even approach SolidWorks rendering esthetically or in terms of realism.
You are on the right track. If you don't get satisfaction from your local dealer, find another or go direct to SolidWorks.Com. If that doesn't work, consider SolidEdge. It uses the same kernal as SoidWorks, has much the same functionality and is price competitive. The downside is that if you arte looking for a job that will use your 3D modeling skills, there will not be as many that want SolidEdge as exist with SolidWorks.
Over the last 20 years, I've trained thousands of end users. I started with AutoCAD in the 80's and gradually evolved into 3D modeling with Pro E. On the basis of my experience, I will suggest to you that the single biggest obstacle you must overcome is not learning the new software, but unlearning the automatic responses you've acquired using Autodesk's Mechanical. It's kind-a-like driving on the wrong side of the road in England! The moment you start to drive intuitively, you find yourself face to face with uncoming traffic!
Good luck
John2005 wrote:
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